Fucking eBay

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A long time ago in a galaxy far far away… I used to sell things on eBay, not much mind you but occasionally I’d have something I thought was valuable and so I’d stick it on eBay and it would sell for like £2 and I’d be gutted mostly as it cost me more than £2 to sell the thing with eBay fees, Paypal fees, postage and packing etc etc. 

As a result sometime in the early 2000’s I stopped selling things on eBay and instead resorted to car boots, The Loot and more recently Gumtree (yes I know eBay own them) and Shpock.  Recently however I’ve been hearing good things about eBay and the fact that there is a real market there to sell to so I decided that all my duplicate PS1 games could go on eBay and I’d make some of the money I’ve been spending like a boss back.

I think it would be best to start this tale of woe/rant of pure rage at the beginning. I recently bought about 30 PS1 games on eBay in various bundles as there were a handful of games within the bundles my own collection was missing. 

When the games arrived the first thing I did was to evaluate the games and to be honest they were all in poor – fair condition however the ones I needed were tested (loaded in a PS1) and added to my collection and the ones which weren’t were cleaned, tested (loaded in a PS1, new game started, played for 5+ mins and a save game created and loaded). I call this out because if I am going to sell something I make dam sure that it works whereas for my collection I just care that the thing loads, I’ll eventually play it properly or I won’t, I’ve over 300 games in my collection and if I continue to go for the complete set I’ll have 2000+ in the end and their just isn’t the time for that.

Anyway, I put one of these games on eBay and list it as acceptable condition based on the definition:

Acceptable: a video or DVD with extensive external signs of wear, but one that continues to play perfectly. The box or DVD case might be damaged and the notes or other inclusions might be marked (but remain complete and legible), or one or more of these items might be missing. The seller must note any missing items in the listing comments.

So I listed 20 games before I went on holiday and had them all enveloped up with someone to post them while I was away.  When one would sell I’d get them to post it to the person and everything was going so well, in fact it was going better than well, I’ve sold a dozen games and so I loaded a couple more up to sell them on too.  That however is where everything turned sour, 
one of those bundles contained a game I already owned, Duke Nukem. The person selling them was open and honest in saying they hadn’t checked they games but they were assuming they all worked and post testing the game I could confirm it worked fine.

This game sold for £5 + £1.40 postage, not a great deal but given I paid £13.50 for the bundle the sale of this game would cover the lions share of the bundle and I’d got 3 games in the bundle for my own collection, happy days! or so I thought..

Within a day of me posting the game to the buyer the communications started.

Hi, I’m not particularly impressed, there’s no mention of the hinges being snapped off.

Now I took this on the chin because honestly I hadn’t put it in the listing I had expected the acceptable description combined with the fact that the game is 21 years old to cover this however I apologised and explained that I had described it as acceptable and what was meant by that.

While that maybe the definition of acceptable, it has not been listed following the guide lines of the term “used”. For the category video games the following is the definition.

“An item that has been previously used.  See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections.”

Well I guess that was me told, so again I apologised and bit back the sharper reply that I had in mind, this was then followed by the following message.

I have tested it today and I can safely say you did not test this game. It does not play. Seriously not impressed.

This I seriously take offence to, I know for a fact that this game worked as I spent a little too much time running round the game looking for the pole dancers. This was the straw that broke the camels back, I was only into this sale for £5 and it just wasn’t worth the noise, so I contacted the buyer and offered a refund, I just couldn’t give a flying one anymore.

The refund was submitted today by the buyer and get this for a crock of shit, the buyer is now claiming delamination (disc rot) of the data on the disc. Delamination is where the discs data becomes compromised due to damage to the top of the disc where the data is stored. You can see delamination on a CD/DVD by holding it up to an extremely strong light source, where there is delamination the light will penetrate the disc and in most cases it will appear as pin points of light, what this clown pointed to as delamination was a fingerprint.

So now not only do I have to refund the game price and the postage but a load of other costs too, please stick with me here this is what really gets my back up.

I sold the game for £6.40 all in, I spent £1.40 of that to post it meaning £5.00 in my pocket. Now I have to pay the buyer back £6.40 so that leaves me £1.40 in the red, but unfortunately though it doesn’t stop there because having spoken to eBay today about this I also have to pay for the buyer to return it to me which eBay will, kindly, facilitate for just £3.05 leaving me now £4.45 in debt, but wait the good news doesn’t stop there! Yep there’s the eBay final value fee too, £0.65 to be precise so after all is said and done I will have sold the game, and received it back and paid £5.10 for the privilege.

Fuck eBay!

So what lessons did I learn that you can take away from this experience…

  1. Ensure that your listing has a definition of the condition, all mine now have the above definition lest I have this problem again.
  2. Create a returns policy, sure it wouldn’t have helped me in this situation as under eBay rules if the item is deemed faulty then it is your responsibility as the seller to pay to get it back
  3. Be aware that if the thing you’re selling costs less than £5 then you’re going to lose money on the return and it may even be worth just telling the person to keep the thing.
  4. Fuck eBay and fuck people too.

Johnny English Strikes Again (2018)

Home > Blog > Johnny English Strikes Again (2018)

I have to say as much as I didn’t want to watch this film I kind of did want to see it. I have never really considered myself a fan of Rowen Atkinson however the film itself looked like it could have been good fun. 

The premise of the film is fairly straightforward, there has been a compromise and all active MI7 agents have been compromised. With no-one to turn to they have to find a retired agent who can track down the evil mastermind and stop them before their scheme comes to fruition.

The film itself I quite enjoyed, not as much as the group sat behind me mind you, but it was OK.  In a way you know what you are going to get with this sort of film, and it didn’t let me down, there was the usual physical, slapstick humor with jokes which were at time borderline painful but there was nothing really offensive in there and it felt like it would be accessible to a younger audience.

Overall I’d give this 3/5 just for Atkinson dancing.

Vandal Hearts

Home > Blog > Vandal Hearts

Where to start, where to start…  Vandal Hearts is a game from my childhood which I absolutely loved, back in the 90s times were hard and money to buy new video games was not as readily available to me as it is today however the local video shop rented out a small selection of PS1 games and for a couple of pounds I could have a game for 3 days.  Vandal Hearts was one of the games I rented and perhaps the only PS1 game remember renting by name.

Before I talk about how much I love the game I’d like to share my story of playing this as a child as this is part of what made me remember the game so fondly, and it’s quite funny too in my opinion

So back in 1997 I rented this game one Friday night as was the tradition, this gave me the weekend to play the game and I’d have to take it back on Monday after school.  Not having access to the internet at the time or a guide on how to play the game and where all the secrets were I had to do this the fun/hard way, through trial and error.  Over the course of the weekend I worked my way through the game helping Ash and his companions fight evil and bring good to the world once more however on Sunday evening it became obvious that I wasn’t going to finish the game and would have to return it uncompleted.

This didn’t sit well with me, I knew that I wouldn’t have enough money to rent the game again for a couple of week and there was no telling if it would even be available for me to rent when I actually had the money so I decided to power through and complete it before I went to bed.  The good news is that I was able to do it, the bad news was I completed the game at around 8am Monday, this gave me around 30 minutes to get ready for school.  

By lunch time I was really flagging but I knew after lunch I had double woodwork and there was no way that I could be tired in that class, it was one of my favorites and with all the machinery going you couldn’t really get sleepy, or so I thought.  That day the teacher, Mr. Reynolds, decided that he would start with an hour of theory, testing us on what various tools were and what scenarios we’d use them for, I barely made it through that by the skin of my teeth, after this I thought just an hour till home time, just a little longer, then came out the quiz papers. He’d decided that the second half of the lesson would be a quiz/essay to check our understanding.  This is where I fell, asleep that is.

There was no talking teacher to pay attention to, just a piece of paper in front of my, before I knew it I had fallen asleep on the paper and was awoken by a loud thud next to me. Mr. Reynolds had hit the desk with a wooden mallet to wake me. I apologised and explained I hadn’t been able to sleep the night before and he joked that it wasn’t an excuse but he let me away with it and no more was said. 

As for Vandal Hearts itself, the game is a turn based tactics RPG which was made by Konami in 1996, I think. The game follows a small group (3) of members of heroes which gradually grows to an almost unmanageable (12) mess.  

A lot of the characters aren’t particularly well developed, they have brief patches of story when they join you but beyond that there isn’t really much growth for them, it would have been nice if there were a number of side missions where you get a glimpse back on them to find what brought them to the point where you met them and possibly a few missions post meeting them where you get a bit more progression for them.

The game itself however plays really well, there is a good range of choice in role progression for each of the characters however after their first choice they are kind of locked in to their path, the combat system works quite well and there is a great deal of tactical thinking required to beat each of the stages while getting the treasures and keeping as many people alive as possible.

Overall I’d still say that this is a great game which has remained fun and challenging to this day. I’d also highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t played it as it really is a fantastic play.